Proposed List of Federal Judge Appointments Raises Diversity Concerns

Oct 18, 2013


A proposed list of six federal judge appointments from Georgia is raising diversity concerns. 

The Obama administration and Georgia’s two U.S. senators reportedly agreed to the list late this summer.

Outside the Richard B. Russell federal building in downtown Atlanta, a handful of state lawmakers and advocates protested the lack of diversity on the list and among federal judges in general.

“We’re not just talking African-American, we’re talking about it being representative of the population of Georgia, where there's Latinos, where there’s Asians, where there’s Native Americans,” said Helen Butler, executive director of the Coalition for the People’s Agenda.

The list includes two white men, three white women, and one African-American woman.   

Georgia NAACP President Francys Johnson said President Obama is conceding too much to what he says are obstructionist Senate Republicans.

“The same strategy that broke the impasse and government shutdown should be applied to the judicial nominations. He should put forth his nominees and stand on them,” said Johnson.

Georgia’s five Democratic Congressmen sent a letter to the Obama administration in September expressing shock and disappointment over being left out of the nominating process.

The proposed nominations for the U.S. Court of Appeals are Bondurant Mixson & Elmore partner Jill Pryor and U.S. District Court Judge Julie Carnes of the Northern District of Georgia. The proposed nominations for U.S. District Court are Butler Wooten & Fryhofer attorney Leigh May, Troutman Sanders partner Mark Cohen, DeKalb County State Court Judge Eleanor Ross, and Judge Michael Boggs of the Georgia Court of Appeals.